Did you know that Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days of the year for New York’s 911 call center? It makes sense — a lot of those brunches are fraught with all kinds of complicated tension — though it seems important to note that that fact comes courtesy of the NYPD, who last week sent out a memo telling all call-center staffers scheduled to work today to expect to stay on for at least four hours of mandatory overtime. The New York Daily News reports that enforced overtime isn’t unusual, since the 1,040-person call center is operating at “about 300 under the optimal headcount.” However, the bosses did make Mother’s Day extra special by instituting a one-day policy requiring any member of the predominately female staff who calls in sick on Mother’s Day to present medical documentation when they return to the office.
According to a call center employee who spoke to the Daily News, the announcement of that temporary rule was “followed that up with an even more Draconian order — don’t even try to call in sick. ‘They basically canceled sick leave,’ said the operator.’” She added, “Handling crime calls all day, with no break to go home to your family, plays with the psyche. You worry about making a mistake and getting written up, but moreover, you worry about making a mistake that will hurt somebody.” While we don’t feel comfortable endorsing the malingering of 911 operators, we do hope you keep this depressing, no-win situation in mind when you feel the urge to throw an object at your mom — or child! — this evening.